Hens not laying

lyonsy(10 CA)October 6, 2008


All my hens have stopped laying all at the same time. I have four and one of them, a Marans, has remained broody for at least 2 months!

The others are all mounting..at least the coop is covered in feathers.

Is this the reason they have stopped?. I thought it might be a rodent stealing eggs but I got rid of them and still no eggs

Any suggestions?


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Shorter days, maybe? I know they don't lay much in the winter months without supplemental lighting, but I thought that tapered off slowly.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 4:39PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Hens don't usually lay eggs while molting, it takes too much energy and nutrition to grow new feathers, so egg laying is suspended.

Most of mine are also molting (dropping your tail feathers out all at once is all the rage at my house right now!), so our egg production is down, too. Soon the shorter daylight hours and cooler weather will also be a factor.

I try not to interfere with Mother Nature's schedule as far as molt/daylight hours/egg production goes--I figure she knows best, and that the hens need the break from egg production.

But lordy, all those loose feathers all over the yard and the weird-looking, buttless chickens running around--! :)

Velvet !:>

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 1:12PM
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lyonsy(10 CA)

Thanks Guys

Its funny the way all four decided to moult en masse. They must have had a committee meeting and decided when to down tools and walk off the job site...!!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 11:26PM
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hmmm......were you offering maternity leave in their benefit package? perhaps that was the sticking point....

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 3:04AM
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lyonsy(10 CA)

They were upset because they were not covered by the Wall St bail out..and who could blame them?


    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 1:21AM
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Would Itn't be Cheaper to have given every American over 18 years old 5 Million Dollars and let the 'lowlife fat-cats thief's' fall as the may?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 8:50AM
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reba_nc(z 7)

That was my economic plan seramas! Everybody could pay off their mortgages/student loans/credit cards/vehicles. Talk about an economic boost!
Actually I'm checking out this forum for ideas about a small flock (orpingtons?) I could maintain on my 1/4 acre city lot.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 12:02PM
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Reba nc-Check city ordinances pertaining to keeping poultry. Some prohibit any 'farm animals' and others are quite relaxed, while some allow hens and no Roos.

Being in the city you will probably want to take extra steps to prevent/reduce mice/rat populations that will be associated with poultry feed/watering. Hinging feeders and waterers are good for this.

I have a friend in Jersey City that uses two 50 gallon plastic barrels with 1/2 of one end cut out. They are mounted on their side on posts about 1.5' of the ground. She uses straw in the barrels as nesting material. There are no perches but the hens don't seem to mind. The hens are able to jump up in them thus preventing rodents form living in or under the 'coops'. She uses pelleted saw dust on the floor of the covered 8'x12'x6'H run to keep smells and mud down when it rains. She keeps 6 hens and they sleep in one barrel and lay eggs in both. It looks good and easy to keep clean and reduces the chance of someone complaining.

Hope this is of some level of help. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 1:38PM
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reba_nc(z 7)

Thanks! I checked with the city and they are fine as long as no neighbors complain. Our property backs up to a creek/greenway with deer, possums, raccoons, rabbits, hawks, owls and God knows what else so I'm not exactly in the 'concrete jungle'! I'm at the end of a cul-de-sac so there's no traffic and we are friends with the neighbors so we shouldn't have any problems there. When I finish researching I'll post a few questions for you guys!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 10:28AM
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HerringboneD28(z7 Central AR)

Keep up the research and read about protection from preditors while you're at it. Orpingtons, by the way, are great!!!

Back on topic.......I'm only getting 2 eggs per day from my 13 layers because most are molting. Trouble is - once fully feathered again comes winter and they won't start laying well until spring. I'm with Velvet though. Better to let them have a rest than to falsely encourage continued laying.

Now - on the economy and bailout.....naw......I'd best keep my mouth shut :-)

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 1:47PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

A chicken in very po----backyard! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 7:16PM
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